It's hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since sprint legend Linford Christie last hosted the Street Athletics project on Ivybridge, but he was back today (Monday) and it was great to see a similar turnout to last time from the estate community.
Speaking personally I enjoyed the afternoon, milling around amongst the crowd and meeting some old friends from the United Residents' Association (URA), the Isleworth Somali Association, Residents of Worton Estate (ROWE), Hounslow Homes and from the estate in general. The new Mayor was there in attendance, as was Councillor Sampson (apologies to her colleagues if they were there also, but if they were I missed them).
I hope this event, now in its second year, becomes a permanent fixture. It brings people together from across the estate community in a way that nothing else seems quite able to do. Over the past year or so there has been a real estate identity actively taking shape which completely transcends any cultural differences and I really do hope that this is not jeopardised in any way by the recent changes in political management. More than ever it is vitally important that residents take control and direct events on the estate themselves.
Later in the evening I spent a useful couple of hours at a meeting in Osterley discussing the launch of a new cross-party (and non-party) residents' initiative which I believe will have a seismic impact over the next few years and beyond upon the way the local authority engages with the community it exists to serve. I can't say any more about this particular project until it formally goes "live", as it will over the next few weeks, but it is one that I am excited by because of its almost limitless potential. More on this anon.